The Inner Child
The Journey of Healing the Inner Child is the quintessential healing epic. That’s because the Inner Child is at the core of our Self.
Like the center of a flower, the petals of our life’s purpose all unfold from the Inner Child. Even when we grow up, there is always a part of us who is still the Inner Child.
The Inner Child is an original. She is our gemstone, our butterfly wing pattern, our snowflake.
Inner Child knows the way to our highest potential. When we rescue the Inner Child from the harm that was done to her – the memory of which lives on in our bodies as trauma – we can at last become who we really mean to be.
Meeting Our Wounds
Even though the Inner Child is where our joy, our creativity, our presence, our happiness and satisfaction at being alive lie, she is also connected to our deepest pain.
Before we can get to the original, unscathed Inner Child, we first have to meet the Wounded Child, the one who shows us how we got hurt by the world.
It’s painful to encounter the Wounded Child. But it is also deeply meaningful when we witness that the Inner Child recovers, and returns to her original nature.
8 Steps on the Journey of Healing the Inner Child
1. Make Contact
The Journey of Healing the Inner Child begins with getting to know her, and creating an environment of such safety and acceptance that she begins to trust you. Much like adopting an animal who has lived in a shelter and might have some reasons not to trust human beings, your Inner Child also has some reasons not to trust human beings. Therefore, have patience and be gentle as the sunrise. But say to yourself, “Hi Inner Child. I want to get to know you. I’m here”. She’s listening.
2. Build a Relationship Based on Trust
Children respond to love and attention like plants to sunlight and water, so if you give love and attention to your Inner Child, she will bloom. Build trust through using kind, loving words when you sense her showing up within you, taking time to check in with her, and letting her have some influence on your day. “Inner Child, I’m so happy you’re here. I love you so much, you’re the child I always wanted. Do you want to read our book or watch a movie tonight?”
Children need play. They die without it. So whatever it is that feels like fun to you, do that, do it a lot, and your Inner Child will be able to attach to you and feel safe at last. Read children’s books. Draw. Play games. Make pancakes. Take baths. Pick flowers. Collect rocks. Do puzzles. Take time to be together, and let her choose what’s fun.
4. Adopt a Learning Mindset
Being allowed to explore, to try new things just for the experience, is important for the Inner Child and might not have been fully allowed during your actual childhood. Adopt a learning mindset: you have a right to try things just because they sound fun. You have a right to fail or change your mind. You have a right to grow just through experiences themselves.
5. Protect the Child
Children need protection and to not have to think about overwhelming, adult things. It’s ok to shield yourself during this process, from topics and people that make you feel less safe in the world. Picture tucking your Inner Child away in a deep inner chamber, safe from the outside world.
6. Celebrate the Child’s Spontaneous Nature
Children are delightful and surprising even if they’re a handful sometimes. When impulsivity, loudness, unruliness, messiness, a desire to follow fun rather than do her homework shows up, celebrate that Child Energy bubbling up in you, as much as you can. If encouraged, the Inner Child can lead you to a brighter, deeper life.
7. Get ready for the Wounds
The Inner Child has wounds. She has to cry, she has to scream and throw tantrums, because a lot happened to her that was both devastating and out of control. Her feelings of victimization, fury, and grief are all natural human reactions to situations that hurt the soul. Validate her.
8. Support the Inner Child
Support your Inner Child. Help her find words, draw pictures, run it out, hug it out. When the feelings are over, change focus to something that gives her joy. A capable adult who loved and cared about her should have been there back then, to show her how to release overwhelming feelings out of the body. Ok, so it didn’t happen then. But you’re here now – better late than never.
If you or an important woman in your life are struggling with substance use or a history of trauma that continues to affect daily life, reach out to us today to learn more about our treatment programs. Call (866) 950-0648 to learn more.